17 August 2023
Kia Picanto
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Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto surpasses 250,000 sales

17 August 2023 - The Kia Picanto, which celebrated its 19th birthday in May 2023, has surpassed a significant milestone, reaching a quarter of a million cumulative sales in the UK. The Picanto, Kia's current A-segment contender, has been a consistent class favourite in the UK and is the lowest priced brand-new car on sale, starting at13,665 GBP.

The first generation of the Kia Picanto went on sale in the UK on 25 May 2004, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the South Korean manufacturer. Right from the outset the Picanto offered fair space, a decent specification list packed with high-quality materials and advanced technologies for the time. Adding to the package, a five-door configuration was standard with a well put-together and refined driving experience, reminiscent of a much larger car.

Kia Picanto

In 2007, the Picanto underwent a minor facelift that saw the A-segment model receive new front and rear light clusters, a new bumper and a new front grille. On the inside, the Picanto remained largely unchanged, although the indicator stalk switched from the right to the left of the steering column.

The first-generation Picanto was retired from duty in 2011, and achieved a total of 83,935 UK sales in its lifetime. During this time, it was a notable favourite among customers trading in older cars as part of the UK's 2009 scrappage scheme, proving instrumental in introducing thousands of motorists to the ascendant Kia brand for the very first time.

Second generation

The second-generation Picanto made its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, and went on sale in the UK on 17 June 2011. The Picanto took a significant step forward in design, abandoning cute design cues used on its predecessor and instead featuring Kia's newly introduced tiger nose grille.

The new Picanto also received Kia's new generation of Kappa engines; designed from the ground-up to reduce CO2 emissions and improve overall efficiency. Improved interior specification and safety features, as well as the availability of a new three-door Picanto, all added to the model's existing appeal.

In April 2015, the second-generation model received a minor facelift, which raised levels of standard equipment and introduced an 11-model range, with a trim level to suit all customer needs. In its lifetime, the second generation Picanto sold 82,407 units in the UK.

Third generation

By the time the third-generation Picanto made its way to the UK, Kia had already established itself as a major player in the UK automotive landscape. Arriving on-sale in the UK on 1 May 2017, the Picanto once again took a step forward in design, with significant enhancements to both the exterior and interior.

The third-generation Kia Picanto introduced the 'GT-Line' grade for the first time. This was equipped with a sporty exhaust, bold front- and rear-bumpers, an aggressive front grille and 'GT' inspired red body details. Coupled with these was an all-new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 99bhp and, paired with a six-speed slick-shifting manual transmission, it became an instant favourite with UK drivers.

The Picanto replaced the mature and handsome look of its predecessor with a slightly more aggressive and modern appearance. With the third-generation Picanto, Kia began to stretch its legs in the A-segment as the model grew more and more popular. A minor refresh in 2020 added to its appeal.

The 250,000th example of the car sold in the UK was a Picanto '2' in Silver Frost, with a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine and five-speed automated-manual transmission.